Review: The Guilt Trip

guilt_tripThe Guilt Trip

  • Starring:  Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), Barbra Streisand (Meet the Fockers) and more.
  • Directed by: Anne Fletcher (The Proposal)
  • Synopsis: Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) is an inventor who lives in Los Angeles. He’s come up with an amazing organic cleaner but can’t get anyone interested in manufacturing it. So he plans a business trip to promote the product and decides to take his recently-widowed mother (Barbra Streisand) along for the ride. She’s been despondent since his father died, so he comes up with a great idea—during the trip he’ll surprise her with a stop in San Francisco, where one of her ex-flames lives.
  • Rated: Rated PG-13 for language and thematic material.
  • Must-Watch Trailer:
  • Review:

Seth Rogen stars in a role similar to so many of his comedic sidekick roles. This time he partners up with Barbra Streisand and together they co-produced (both are listed as “executive producers”). If you read the above synopsis or watched the trailer, you know that Streisand and Rogen star as a very believable mother and son. This film plays very much off of the “real” relationship that the two have and as I watched the movie, it made me laugh watching Streisand and Rogen interact with one another as mother and son because the way in which they work together adds a great sense of realism to the story.the-guilt-trip-seth-rogen-barbra-streisand1

For a comedy, it excels in casting the right leads that bring out all of the little things. From an overbearing mother who wants nothing but the best for her son (perhaps a little too much as she tends to forget he is a grown man at times and we see her lick her thumb to wipe his face) to the son who, though distant at times and appreciates his space, still loves and cares for his mother dearly.img_5990_the-guilt-trip-official-trailer-hd

The comedy in the film is peppered with drama that ties the story together to the heartstrings of some of the audience members. The story is believable but often the sub-plot comes in and out of focus. Moments that induce laughter are followed by moments that induce a little bit of a choke in the throat (or perhaps that was just the popcorn getting stuck). 😀 Although there are some uncomfortable parts (seeing his mom hit on by guys, adventures that lead to a strip club, heated arguments mixed with truth and tempers) along with some pretty funny moments, and although the movie contains some pretty sweet testaments to a mother/son relationship, it still falls rather flat. Before the film started, I mapped out my plot/story predictions and sat back and watched as each of the points in my outline made their predictive way to the screen. With a few minor twists to the story (some that worked out well in capturing those last minute “awwww” moments), this film offers the same expected formulaic story.

Rogen’s style of comedy works very well in this role. Much like, dare I say, Russell Brand in “Arthur.”

…and, that’s not all bad, folks.

I’d much rather see Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in roles that they are good at (i.e. the comedic single sidekick somewhat down on his luck with love and life and the slightly senile/hilarious mother type with an affinity for her children that almost reaches an unhealthy level) than see them slaughter a great script by being miscast in a movie about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders or, say, a Voltron movie. (Yes, I DID just mention Teddy Roosevelt and Voltron in the same sentence!) So, the casting of Rogen and Streisand are spot on for this film and are the only memorable characters in this film that is not about anybody else.

Who's that guy? It's not Chris Cooper.
Who’s that guy? It’s not Chris Cooper.

Amid the fun laughs, the awkward arguments, the pokes at the generation gaps between the two and the scenes that remain easy to relate to, it was also fun (or distracting depending on your point of view) to see all of the blatant product placement promotion (M&Ms, K-Mart, CostCo, etc) and the funny goofs in the film.

Watch for the "relocation" of the purse hook and add'l items on the table in this scene!
Watch for the “relocation” of the purse hook and add’l items on the table in this scene!

A fun film that I did enjoy watching because I saw several fun aspects of my own relationship with my mother whom I love ever so much. Though, I will admit, I’d love to see my mom down a 50-ounce steak with all the sides to go within 60 minutes! 🙂 haha. That would make for an awesome story! movie-43-liev

See The Guilt Trip if you are looking for a fun movie nite watch. Perhaps on your couch with some popcorn (or a steak hehehe). It is not necessarily a “theater-worthy” movie, but it’s a fun rental. It’s not a bad movie, but it is not spectacular either. So, save your money, wait for it to release on disc or make it to your discount theater and enjoy…with your mom (it will be more fun that way, I guarantee)!fmp-guilt-trip

Score:  2.5 out of 5 stars for The Guilt Trip


Similar Titles that I have Seen and Recommend:

  • The Proposal
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Jingle All the Way

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer


  1. I can back you up, pretty much. It wasn’t terrible, and the halfway point of your rating scale is spot on. I think everyone will see some of their mom in it, but to me it wasn’t really so much that the relationship comedy between the two was decent (or acceptable at least), it was that the rest of it wound up kind of bland and predictable and I dont know that Id say formulaic, cause not a lot of movies do this, LOL… but it wound up being very “slight” for me. 😦


    • Thanks Keith! I can understand your avoidance of Rogen and Streisand. This one wasn’t all that bad though. haha.

      I tend to avoid Russell Brand a lot but liked him in Arthur (Fogs’ can’t understand why I like Arthur and often makes fun of me for it though LOL)


  2. Wouldn’t expect it to be anymore than average. I agree with what you say about them sticking to roles they’re good in rather than trying for something different that might not work out. Better to be safe than sorry (though some of the greatest performances usually come from taking risks).

    It’s interesting to see how Barbra picks her roles. She’s not very prolific (at least not lately) and you know she gets tons of scripts, so I wonder why she takes so long between films and ends up picking something so middle-of-the-road…just wondering.


    • Yeah, I don’t know why Barbra doesn’t pick anything more challenging, but perhaps she is at a point in her career where she just wants to float along. She’s had a long career and can afford to I guess. But she could also do some Merryl Streep kinda stuff if she’d be willing to apply herself.

      oh well. Thanks for reading and commenting. Will you be watching this one?


  3. Hi, Terrence and company:

    Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as mother and son in a road trip comedy?

    To quote Jack Nicholson from “Terms of Endearment”:

    “I’d rather stick hot needles in my eyes!”


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